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PhD Students

Ali Coates (she/her)

University of Ottawa

PhD, Management, Health Systems

Supervisors: Agnes Grudniewicz & Tracey O’Sullivan

Research Interests: Rural health, health workforce, structural urbanism, health care access

Research Methods: Qualitative, critical methods, discourse analysis, knowledge synthesis

Additional Expertise: Hivernophile: expert in winter appreciation and recreational winter sports. Mom to luge and equestrian sport athletes. “My kids are living their best life and I am their ride”

Ali Coates is a PhD student in Management, in the Health Systems specialization. Her work focuses on structural urbanism in rural health. She is a recipient of the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program Doctoral Scholarships (CGS-D) by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Ali holds a BSc (Honours) degree from Mount Allison University, a MBA in Healthcare Management and a MS in Healthcare Data Analytics from Clarkson University and has held a variety of healthcare leadership roles during her career. Ali began working in the field of clinical research and eventually led the founding and early growth phases of a successful imaging core laboratory. Following a family move to the rural North Country region of New York, Ali led the establishment of a new clinical research program within St. Lawrence Health System. She was the Assistant Vice President of Physician Relations at Adirondack Health before being accepted to Telfer School of Management. While completing her MBA and MS degrees, Ali chose to focus on the rural context to understand how core management principles apply in rural health systems. Ali was a 2022 National Rural Health Association (NRHA) Rural Health Fellow. She maintains an active leadership role at the New York State Association for Rural Health.


Julie Vizza (she/her)

Ontario Tech University

Doctor of Philosophy, Health Sciences


Supervisors: David Rudoler & Agnes Grudniewicz

Research Interests: Patient experience, patient empowerment, patient self-management

Research Methods: Quantitative

Additional Expertise: Patient advocacy, reading, travelling, cooking, and generally, trying new things

Julie Vizza is a PhD candidate at Ontario Tech University (formally the University of Ontario Institute of Technology). Julie holds a joint Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Psychology from Trent University and Master’s degree in Health Science from Ontario Tech University. Julie’s general research interests surround using the experience and expertise of patients to improve the delivery of care across various levels of the health care system. Under the co-supervision of Dr. David Rudoler (Ontario Tech University) and Dr. Agnes Grudniewicz (University of Ottawa), her current dissertation research explores medication management experiences among older adults with multiple chronic conditions and, within team-based care settings. Julie’s own lived experience as an individual with complex care needs, has strengthened her conviction that the perspectives of patients, as well as, collaboration with and among providers are fundamental in establishing and delivering optimal person-centred care.

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Ellie Gooderham (she/her)

Simon Fraser University

PhD, Faculty of Health Sciences

Supervisors: Lindsay Hedden

Research Interests: Health equity, marginalised populations, chronically ill and complex care patients, administrative data

Research Methods: Quantitative

Additional Expertise: Cooking, travelling, EDI, cycling

Ellie is an PhD student in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. With her background in biological anthropology, Ellie has an interest in studying health from a variety of data sources and she is looking forward to building skills in mixed methods and qualitative research. Her lived experiences of having an invisible disability has shaped both her research interests as well as being involved with EDI in professional and personal settings.

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Margaret Jamieson (she/her)

University of Toronto

PhD Health Services Research - Health Economics


Supervisors: David Rudoler & Audrey Laporte

Research Interests: Primary care, mental health and addictions, health workforce planning, labour economics, machine learning

Research Methods: Quantitative

Additional Expertise: Audiobooks, video games, hiking, knitting

Margaret is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, focusing her studies on health economics. She joined the university after completing her Bachelor’s degree in International Economics and Mathematics at the University of British Columbia. Margaret has a variety of research interests focused on the use of quantitative methods in health services research, such as machine learning, age-period-cohort modelling, and other methodologies used in her thesis work. Currently, she is focused on finishing her doctoral thesis on age-period-cohort approaches to explaining changes in primary care physician practice patterns in BC. Within the world of physician labour supply, she focuses on the provision of mental health and substance use services.

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Michèle Langlois​ (she/her)

Saint Paul University

Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Research on Contemporary Social Issues

Supervisors: Agnes Grudniewicz

Research InterestsPrevention, education, early identification, care coordination and 

integration over the lifespan, mental health, substance use health and addictions, end of life care, health equity, virtual care, client and family experiences of care, client and family self-management and empowerment, engagement of client and family expertise in co-design of care

Research Methods: Qualitative, knowledge synthesis

Additional Expertise: Homesteading, caring for chickens, muscovy ducks, and Bouvier des  Flandres dogs

Passionate about making evidenced-based, plain language, culturally relevant resources (psycho-education, skill building and peer support) and community services/supports accessible to clients, families, and community workers for prevention, early identification and care for mental health, substance use health and addictions issues. Passionate about engaging families in care, where appropriate, as well as for providing front line clinical staff with the information and resources they need to connect clients and their families to care and community services. Member of the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group (The Royal) Research Council Co-Chair (family perspective) of the Client- and Family-Oriented Research working group of The Royal Research Council Member of the Academic Committee of the Royal Research Council Co-Chair, Client and Family Advisory Council, AccessMHA, Eastern Ontario Region Member of the AccessMHA Oversight Committee, Eastern Ontario Region President, Ottawa Network for Borderline Personality Disorder (ON-BPD), offering a 12-week program for families of loved ones with difficulty regulating their emotions. Draw upon decades (too many to admit :) ) years’ experience as an Executive and Executive Advisor to public sector and mental health organisations in the areas of Service and Business Innovation, with specific expertise in Visioning, Strategy and Planning, Program and Project Management, and Change Leadership. Lived expertise as family member / primary care partner accompanying loved ones on their recovery from mental health, substance use health and addictions issues, as well as end of life journeys.

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MSc Students

Aidan Bodner (he/him)

University of Toronto

Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (Concentration: Health Services Research)


Supervisors: Sara Allin & David Rudoler

Research Interests: Health policy, health equity, access to health services, primary care, political economy of health

Research Methods: Mixed methods

Additional Expertise: Soccer, hiking, record collecting, cooking

Aidan has recently received his BSc in health sciences from Simon Fraser University where he worked with Dr. Ruth Lavergne on various projects including: an exploration into the presence of private payment for primary care services in Canada; a scoping review aiming to determine how comprehensiveness is defined, determined, or conceptualised within primary care; a national quantitative analysis of changes in equity in access to primary care. After his undergrad, Aidan will be attending the University of Toronto for an MSc in health services research with an emphasis in health policy. Aidan’s research interests are broadly centred around policies and their impact on health equity.

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Marc Albert

University of Ottawa

MSc Health Systems


Supervisor: Agnes Grudniewicz & Manoj Lalu

Research Interests: Predatory journals, public health policy, trustworthiness of scientific evidence, knowledge translation

Research Methods: Qualitative research

Additional Expertise: Playing/watching sports (mainly hockey and soccer), Country music

Marc is a graduate student in the MSc. Health Systems program at the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa. His thesis research involves using mainly qualitative methods and focuses on improving our understanding of how the individuals/organizations who produce public health policy documents source and evaluate scientific evidence for inclusion in said documents, as well as identifying factors that could contribute to the citation of articles published in predatory journals. Marc has a background in Biomedical Science and has previously conducted research involving the comparison of murine ovarian cancer models.

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Rachel McTier (she/her)

Ontario Tech University

Masters of Health Science


Supervisor: David Rudoler

Research Interests: Mental health, EDI, sport policy

Research Methods: Quantitative

Additional Expertise: Trail & road running, weight lifting, coaching (swimming), reading

Rachel is a graduate student at the University of Ontario Tech. Her quantitative research is focused on evaluating the effectiveness of an antipsychotic order set for patients with schizophrenia implemented at Ontario Shores. This research is part of the bundled care pathway for schizophrenia at Ontario Shores. Rachel also has extensive experience in community and high performance sport and her interests include addressing Canadian sport policy and how policies affect gender diverse people.

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Sameh Hashem

University of Toronto - Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation

MSc Health Services Research - Health Economics


Supervisors: David Rudoler

Research Interests: Health Systems, Public Policy, International development

Research Methods: Quantitative and Qualitative

Additional Expertise: Cooking elaborate meals and long pandemic inspired nature walks

Sameh is a Masters student at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. His current project aims to understand the impact of managed entry on primary care physician practice through the analysis of administrative data via ICES. He joins the group with a background in public policy and global affairs with a joint Masters from the Munk School of Global Affairs and Science Po Paris. When not in class or crunching data, he has had the opportunity to work for Global Affairs Canada as a policy analyst.

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Reem Gaafar (she/her)

Ontario Tech University

MHSc - Community, Public and Population Health 


Supervisor: David Rudoler

Research Interests: Health policy, delayed discharge in mental health patients, supportive housing, social determinants of health

Research Methods: Qualitative

Additional Expertise: Creative writing, filmmaking, graphic designing

Reem is a public health physician, researcher, writer and knowledge translator with over 15 years of experience in the MENA region. She completed a MPH from the University of Liverpool and has consulted for several health promotion campaigns as well as government and non-government entities, including WHO, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, GHD/EMPHNET and the Government of Sudan. Her writing has been featured in African Feminism, Teakisi Magazine, African Arguments, International Health Policies, Health Systems Global and in two anthologies. She also assists researchers writing in English as a second language to get published. In 2020 Reem was shortlisted for the Miles Moreland Foundation Writing Scholarship for African writers. For her Master's and PhD Reem will be working on solutions for delayed discharge in mental health patients and exploring their lived experience transitioning into and living in supportive housing.

Husayn Jessa

University of Toronto

MSc in Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (Concentration: Health Services Research)


Supervisor: David Rudoler

Research Interests: Mental health services, primary care, equity, diversity

Research Methods: Quantitative

Additional Expertise: Soccer, weight lifting, reading

Husayn will be attending the University of Toronto in the Fall of 2022 to begin his MSc in Health Services Research with an emphasis in Health Economics. He completed his undergraduate degree in Health Sciences at Wilfrid Laurier University where he was awarded an Alumni Gold Medal. Husayn’s research interests include supporting individuals with mental illness, equity in care, and the overall improvement of health systems and health care.

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Lucie Péléja (she/her)

University of Ottawa

MSc in Health Systems


Supervisor: Agnes Grudniewicz & Tracey O'Sullivan

Research Interests: Public trust, public health, health policy, emergency preparedness

Research Methods: Quantitative & qualitative

Additional Expertise: Hiking, kayaking, dog walking/sitting, and travelling

Over the course of her Honours BSc in Psychology (University of Ottawa), Lucie gained experience conducting quantitative research in various fields, including psychology, advanced biology, neuroimmunology, and stress research. For her master's thesis, Lucie uses qualitative designs to study public trust in governmental public health organizations during COVID-19 reopening. She is also contributing on dementia-related projects at the Arizona State University and working as a Junior Editor for the Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR) at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

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Nabiha Tariq Paracha (she/her)

Ontario Tech University

Masters of Health Science - Community, Public and Population Health


Supervisor: David Rudoler

Research Interests: Opioid use, prescription trends, poly-pharmacy, primary care

Research Methods: Quantitative

Additional Expertise: Survivor (TV Show), hiking, coffee, and reading

Nabiha is a Masters Student at Ontario Tech University looking at research on trends of co-prescription with opioids and benzodiazepines/Z-drugs in primary care. She has also contributed to research related to the delisting of opioids in Ontario, and suicide management in health-care settings. Nabiha has worked as a health-policy intern with Diabetes Canada, and now works as a policy advisor to the Ontario Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

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Stephanie Littleford (she/her)

Ontario Tech University

MHSc - Community, Public and Population Health


Supervisor: David Rudoler

Research Interests: Mental health, primary care, vulnerable populations, equitable care

Research Methods: Quantitative

Additional Expertise: Hiking, reading, music, sustainability

Stephanie is a master of health science candidate at OntarioTech university in the community, public, and population stream with a background in psychology. Her research focuses on the prescription of antipsychotics to people with dementia in a primary care setting. She is currently working as an office manager at a health clinic part time alongside her studies. Stephanie has also worked as a graduate research assistant and teaching assistant throughout her time at OntarioTech. Though most of her work has been quantitative, Stephanie is open to exploring mixed-methods and qualitative investigations as well. After graduation Stephanie hopes to enter a position as a research or policy analyst but is open to any positions which intrigues her and make her feel like she is being challenged.

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Hannah is a Master of Science student in health systems at the University of Ottawa. Prior to starting her graduate studies, she completed her Bachelors of Science Honours degree with a minor in neuroscience from the University of Guelph. She has an interest in translational research, public health, and patient engagement.

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Hannah Wotherspoon (she/her) 

University of Ottawa

MSc - Health Systems


Supervisor: Agnes Grudniewicz,

Manoj Lalu

Research Interests: Public Health, preclinical to clinical translation, patient engagement, knowledge translation

Research Methods: Qualitative

Additional Expertise: Figure skating, skiing, travelling 

Catherine Kadamani_edited.jpg

Catherine Kadamani

University of Ottawa

MHSc - Health Systems


Supervisor: Agnes Grudniewicz, Jennifer Dimoff

Research Interests: Leadership and management, patient safety, employee well-being, understanding and developing organizational culture, mental health

Research Methods: Qualitative

Additional Expertise: Speaking Arabic, baking, drawing, and scrapbooking

Catherine is a Master of Science student in Health Systems at the University of Ottawa. Prior to her graduate studies, she completed her Bachelor of Health Sciences Honours degree with a minor in Management from the University of Ottawa. She is extremely keen on research topics that aim to find new and innovative ways to deliver comprehensive care to patients and/or quality service to customers by way of improving leadership styles, optimizing human resource planning, understanding organizational culture, and focusing on employee mental health and wellbeing.

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Amanda Gormley (she/her)

Dalhousie University



Supervisor: Ruth Lavergne

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Anneka Sheppard

Dalhousie University



Supervisor: Ruth Lavergne

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Lauren Mills

Dalhousie University



Supervisor: Ruth Lavergne

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Rachel Thelen (she/her)

University of Ottawa

MSc Health Systems


Supervisor: Agnes Grudniewicz

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Vrishank Saini

University of Chicago

Neuroscience (major) and Computational Neuroscience (minor)


Supervisor: David Rudoler

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